At Children's National, we know digestive problems can affect your child's quality of life. That's why our Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition is dedicated to providing compassionate, comprehensive and personalized care for your child. Our internationally-renowned pediatric specialists have the skills and resources to diagnose, treat, and manage the full range of digestive disorders in children.
Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Care at Children's National: Why Choose Us?
We are the only hospital in the Washington, DC, area that caters exclusively to children. Our pediatric gastroenterology team provides comprehensive, personalized care for infants, children, and teenagers.
Features of our services include:
- Full spectrum of care. Our program includes experts in digestive, liver, and nutritional disorders in children of all ages. We can manage everything from a routine upset stomach to complex and chronic conditions that require ongoing care.
- Expertise in diagnosis. There is a wide range of conditions that fall under “gastrointestinal disorders.” This is why careful, professional diagnosis is so important. Our pediatric specialists have the experience to make an accurate diagnosis, the first step to a comprehensive treatment and management plan.
- Level 1 Surgery Verification. Children’s National is one of only twelve children’s hospitals in the country to attain Level 1 Surgery Verification from the American College of Surgeons. This distinction recognizes surgery centers who have improved surgical quality, prevented complications, reduced costs and saved lives.
- Specialized care. Every member of your child’s team is a pediatric specialist in gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. We provide a superior level of care, tailoring your child’s treatment plan to meet his or her specific needs.
- Efficient services. Many of our physicians subspecialize in specific GI disorders. When you call to make an appointment, we will immediately direct you to the healthcare specialist you need. In addition, your referring physician can access one of our on-call doctors 24 hours a day so we can guide you to the correct practitioner who can meet your child’s needs.
- Child-centered environment. We know being in a hospital can be an anxious time for a child. From our kid-friendly rooms to our Child Life Specialists, we do everything we can to provide a safe, warm, and reassuring environment for children and families. Learn more about our services for families.
Gastrointestinal Specialty Clinics at Children’s National
Some of the more complex childhood gastrointestinal disorders require a specialized team of experts, all working together to treat and manage your child’s condition. In our clinics, specialists from many different fields of pediatric medicine collaborate to offer your child comprehensive, excellent care. Our clinics include:
Comprehensive Motility Clinic
Children’s National is one of the few pediatric centers in the country to offer a dedicated gastrointestinal motility clinic for children. The team provides expert diagnosis and personalized care to help improve the patient’s quality of life. The comprehensive motility team has advanced training in pediatric motility disorders and leads the diagnostic and specialized treatment efforts for each child. We use the most up-to-date motility technology including high-resolution anorectal, esophageal, antroduodenal and colonic manometry.
Celiac Disease Program
Celiac disease is an immune disease, in which the body reacts to eating gluten (found in wheat, barley, and rye). Children with celiac disease have trouble absorbing certain nutrients, leading to stomach pain and malnutrition. Patients in our celiac program meet with an experienced nurse practitioner and dietitian. Learn more about our Celiac Disease Program.
Feeding Disorders Program
Children's National Health System has a Feeding Disorders Program that includes a multidisciplinary group of specialists who have been evaluating and successfully treating young children with a variety of different feeding problems for almost 30 years.
Common problems evaluated include
- Poor appetite
- Poor weight gain
- Selective eating
- Difficulties advancing onto an age appropriate diet
We also see children with a variety of medical and developmental issues that impact feeding as well as children who are on supplemental tube feedings.
Initial appointments are scheduled with one of the nurse practitioners in the Gastroenterology Department where a comprehensive history and physical are completed, medical testing may be considered and treatment is initiated. Patients may be referred to other specialists in Psychiatry, Nutrition, Hearing and Speech, and Occupational Therapy. Appointments for an initial Feeding Assessment can be made at our main hospital by calling the Gastroenterology scheduling line at 202-476-3032.
Eosinophilic Esophagitis Clinic
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic inflammation of the esophagus. It is a chronic condition that usually results from a food allergy. The condition is more common in children who might have other allergies including food and seasonal allergies, eczema, and asthma.
Our multidisciplinary clinic provides a collaborative and comprehensive evaluation for children diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). Our team of experts will provide patients and their families with up-to-date information in the areas of clinical and research progress. Our goal is to provide guidance for families to make informed decisions around EoE.
In our clinic, families will meet with a team consisting of an allergist, gastroenterologist and nutritionist. Together, we tailor a plan to help your child face EoE.
- Allergy: Children affected by allergies and complex immunologic disorders benefit from our specialists’ expertise, because our doctors treat children and only children with these conditions. We will evaluate your child for food and environmental allergies using skin prick and blood tests.
- Gastroenterology: Our pediatric gastroenterology team provides comprehensive, personalized care for infants, children, and teenagers. The internationally renowned pediatric specialists at Children’s National have the skills and resources to diagnose, treat, and manage digestive disorders in children. When your child meets with the gastroenterologist, we will discuss options around endoscopic and GERD evaluations.
- Review of specific dietary treatment plans customized according to food allergy evaluation.
- Print material on common food allergies
- Recipe ideas
GI Services We Provide: Inpatient and Outpatient Care
We can treat some GI conditions using simple lifestyle changes or medication. Other conditions require long-term management and care. Services we provide include:
- Physician consultations
- Testing and screening services
- Surgical procedures
- Ongoing nutritional support
Patients can receive care at our main campus facility or at one of our Regional Outpatient Centers (ROC). We have five convenient ROCs throughout the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. If your child does not require hospitalization, our ROCs provide easy access to our team of specialists. You can get the GI services you need close to home, with the same level of expertise and excellence as you would find at our hospital.
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